Keep Tilly Tractor Farming!

We have made a “Doorstep” Co-worker film! Last month we delivered Prospects Parcels to our socially isolated Co-workers, safely being supported in their homes during lockdown. We are all missing having our Co-workers on site at Snakehall Farm, serving customers at Unwrapped and keeping everyone’s garden’s tidy in the community. It is the strangest of times so we wanted to share a little joy and connect our people back to our charity.

We are a CARE farm still farming, we are a SOCIAL enterprise still trading but without the people its the trickiest of times. Please share our Keep Tilly Tractor Farming film, please Donate if you can and please stay safe.

  • A big thank you to:
  • all the Co-worker cast (and the behind the scenes support crew – their families and carers),
  • to all the Co-workers who didn’t want to be captured in film but have their own Tilly on a Stick at home and can’t wait to come back,
  • to all those who have supported The Prospects Trust over the past 30 years and are continuing to support us right now,
  • to all of our new and loyal customers who are shopping local and keeping our enterprise trading,
  • to all of our new fundraisers and donors picking a small charity to support we seriously do a little dance for every £5 that gets donated
  • to all of our staff (either staring in the film), working behind the scenes or trying to turn their own gardens into farms during furlough,
  • to our Trustee Board for allowing the already stretched resources to make time for this joy,
  • And a special mention to the talents of our Support Workers Adam T and Adam V for the film and music magic.

Are you a weed or are you Farm Fit?

We have a volunteering “boot camp” with a difference starting this month at Snakehall Farm. Forget your lounge based Wicks workout or your daily Boris walk we can offer you a different way to get fit, an 18 acre farm needs volunteers to help weed and get ready for the big harvest of 2020.

We are an 18 acre care farm, but in light of the recent pandemic we have closed our farm gates to our co-workers (adults with additional needs) and are working on a rota based tiny workforce. Because of this, we are finding it hard to keep on top of the weeding and watering at Snakehall Farm. Being organic, we do not use any chemicals, which makes our veg taste great but the care of the crops is more laborious.

We are looking for volunteers to come in for a couple of hours a day, ideally in the mornings when it is not too hot in the polytunnels. We are all abiding by social distancing rules, so we would ask that our volunteers do the same. The idea is that we will set a task away from other staff and once completed, our volunteers can go home. We have all the tools and equipment necessary, but we ask that you bring in your own gloves, and wear good boots. Toe protectors would be ideal, but not vital, as we wouldn’t be asking you to use any tools that are deemed dangerous. We also ask that you bring in your own tea/coffee/water to avoid cross contamination.

Interested? Give us a call to find out our next available slot or email [email protected] for more details.

Bad Hair? Do Care?

We are launching a new HAIR RAISING fundraiser and we need your support.

https://localgiving.org/appeal/BadHairDoCare/

Simply donate your lockdown Haircut or beard trim cost savings to our Bad Hair Do Care fundraising appeal and help keep our farm growing while our Co-workers are socially shielding.

Step 1: Donate your haircut cost online at: https://localgiving.org/appeal/BadHairDoCare/

Step 2: Share your Bad Hair photo on our @TillyTractor Facebook Page with your donation AND nominate your usual hairdresser or barber* to win a Produce Hamper full of goodies from The Prospects Trust at Snakehall Farm & Prospects Trust Unwrapped. Use the #BadHairDoCare.

Step 3: Grab the scissors and a bowl………………………..there’s only a week between a bad and a good haircut!

*for logistic reasons only please ensure your nominated hairdresser/barber is based in a 20 mile radius of CB25 0HZ or CB7 4EG,

Unwrapped deliver a Hamper of Happiness to Highfield School Ely’s key workers

Ely’s first zero waste greengrocery and refill larder, Prospects Trust Unwrapped, made a special top of the class delivery to its friends at Highfield Ely today while on their busy home delivery rounds.  Highfield School learners have been part of the social enterprise since it opened last September and the team at Unwrapped wanted to send some treats to their frontline friends.

Prospects Trust Unwrapped had to transform its retail offering practically overnight with the early warnings of Covid-19 and in just once month has turned from a “buy just what you need” busy and bustling shop into a non-contact home delivery service of larder bulk buys.  As a registered charity that supports people with additional needs, their mission is #survivetothrive until the time that Unwrapped can reopen and continue to provide innovative social care placements in the shop.

Tom Cockerton, Manager of Prospects Trust Unwrapped said “we have been astounded, and at times overwhelmed, by the swell of customer orders and loyal support to our social enterprise.  It helped that for a short while we were the only shop in Ely to have toilet rolls and bread yeast, which we still have in regular supply.  Our customers are now making weekly orders of our fruit and veg boxes stocked with seasonal and organic produce as well as their core staples of porridge oats and coffee beans.  I like to think in a small way we are not just providing critical groceries we are also keeping in touch with our customer fan base”. 

Prospects Trust Unwrapped closed its café and put a temporary halt to training placements at the end of March before the national lock down began as a quick measure to keep everyone safe, especially their Co-worker trainees. Overnight the shop created a basic online delivery form, using the skills of a returning Uni student and harnessing the whole of the small workforce, launched Unwrapped Home Delivery.

Customers can now select all their regular store cupboard basics and get their family’s five-a-day weekly veg & fruit online.  The staff team prepare the order and give a phone call to the customer to let them know when to expect a non-contact doorstep delivery.  Clare Rees, Unwrapped Support Worker said “we are proud that we can still continue to provide that friendly personal service, something our shielding and vulnerable customers really need in these times.”

Maz Baker, Development Manager for The Prospects Trust said “as a small charity we are facing the hardest of times, as are so many other frontline services and social good causes.  Nobody is excluded from the challenges of Covid-19 but as a charity we want to #StrivetoThrive.  We felt it was right to reach out to other organisations that are providing frontline care to keyworker children, and, our special friends at Highfield School.  The best way to survive is to support each other.  We hope that people will continue to support us by shopping with us at Unwrapped”.

The Prospects Trust has launched a charity appeal, #Survive to Thrive to help the 30 year old charity weather the lockdown and be ready for a bumper harvest with the Co-workers (adults with additional needs) once they are safe to return to their day placements at Snakehall Farm, at Unwrapped and on the Garden Team.  Donations can be made https://localgiving.org/appeal/survivetothrive/ or via Facebook https://www.facebook.com/tilly.tractor/posts/2936117949758755.

Prospects Trust Unwrapped was selected as an Aviva Community Fund good cause before the outbreak of Covid-19 and due to the challenging circumstances, Aviva has extended their Crowdfunding period, donations to support Unwrapped can be made online at: https://www.avivacommunityfund.co.uk/refill-not-landfill

Unwrapping the Aviva Crowdfunder

We have until lunchtime of the April 22nd to raise £3000 in pledges. We want to Unwrap Unwrapped further and we need your help! Click here to go to the Aviva Crowdfunder Page and pledge your support to The Prospects Trust.

Prospects Trust Unwrapped opened in September 2019 and has started a refill revolution for the local consumers of Ely, but more vitally, it has become the little shop where magic happens.  The Prospects Trust wanted to open a REAL shop to provide REAL work-based training opportunities for people with additional needs. It wanted to create an outlet for all the organic produce sown, grown and harvested by their Snakehall Farm Co-workers and it wanted to give Ely a different way to shop.  In just six months, Unwrapped has been created, launched and now offers 18 placements per week to individuals with additional needs. Unwrapped has already supported 4 learners gain accredited qualifications in retail and food safety and has just enrolled a further 7 learners for 2020.  Unwrapped has created retail opportunities for over 15 local eco artisans in their Craftisan Pods.  Unwrapped has created a sustainable solution to single-use plastic with its novel Refill Larder Wall and loose produce baskets. 

Co-workers creating new dishes from local produce

Now we want to UNWRAP the outside.  We wish to transform the outside of the shop front into an accessible cafe area, with raised bed planters and cycle racks, doggie area and pushchair park.  We want to offer more space for more locals to linger longer in our unique Unwrapped store.  Your support will see us transform an old inaccessible gravel area into an upcycled, recycled and accessible seating area.  By increasing the seating area outside we aim to attract more customers to be served by more Co-workers, helping us put their new found retail skills to the test with the ultimate aim of getting paid employment for our Unwrapped Trainees in their local community.

There is no Planet B

At The Prospects Trust we are keen to reduce our Carbon Foot Print and we have signed up with Terracycle and Recycle 4 Charity to help in the fight against climate change.

On the 18th March it is Global Recycling Day, which is a great initiative to get people thinking GREEN, however you don’t need a specific day to do your bit. The smallest changes can make the biggest difference, so if you have a pile of empty crisp packets or some old toothbrushes/toothpaste tubes then come along to Snakehall Farm and we will take them off your hands. We have recycling stations so you can recycle crisp packets, toothpaste and toothbrushes and also your empty ink cartridges. By doing this you will not only help the planet but also support our charity.
You could also pay a visit to our eco- friendly shop Prospects Unwrapped in the market town of Ely, where we promote a plastic free ethos. You can get your store cupboard essentials from our refill larder or just pop in to enjoy a cuppa and a cake.

Volunteering with The Prospects Trust

We LOVE free help, willingly given and paid back in smiles. Over the 30 years of The Prospects Trust we have received 1000’s of hours of volunteer support, from our Trustee Board to our regular volunteers on Snakehall Farm we couldn’t grow without them. In 2020 we are looking to recruit more volunteers to help us develop our charitable enterprise.

On Monday 10th March from 2:30 to 4:00 pm we will be hosting a drop-in session for prospective volunteers at our new social enterprise, Prospects Trust Unwrapped in Ely (Lynn Road, Ely, CB7 4EG). Meet some of the team, look at the wide range of volunteering opportunities we have or just come to find out more about The Prospects Trust.

Please RSVP your interest at 01638741551, email [email protected] or tell our shop staff you are coming!

The variety of volunteering is endless and the returns boundless. To name some opportunities, we are looking for help in the following areas:

Co-worker Companions – at Snakehall Farm or within the Unwrapped Shop – providing a buddy to help with daily tasks.

Guest Blogger – we are looking for some creative types to help produce perfect copy for our newsletters, social media and website. Perhaps you like doing product reviews or telling a story in words or pictures. Join our creative volunteers to tell the story of Unwrapped

Community Fundraisers & Prospects Trust Ambassadors – with a fundraising target of £50K per year, our charity needs people who can spread the word, run a raffle or run a marathon. Help put the FUN into our Fundraising and work with our Development Manager to raise the £s this year.

Corporate Social Responsibility Giving Back Days – with 18 acres at our disposal we can offer a real difference to a business away day. Ditch the raft building team building sessions and get digging at Snakehall Farm.

Come help us Grow Differently at The Prospects Trust!